A search of historic newspaper databases show the "Letter from a Convict"
being published 1873-1876. I found no stories indicating it was a fake
until newspapers were printing portions of LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI in 1883.


On Fri, Mar 17, 2023 at 4:45 PM Bob Gill <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I have a question about a story in Chapter 52 of Life on the Mississippi –
> the one about Williams the burglar and the faked letter to him from an
> ex-convict. I’m wondering if it’s essentially true, if it’s something Mark
> Twain worked up based on a small kernel of truth, or if he made it up
> entirely out of whole cloth? Does anybody know?
>  -- Bob G.